Wendy Davis: Texas Size Opportunist

Does it matter that Wendy Davis doctored her personal story to make herself more sympathetic? Mudslinging always makes politics unpleasant, and it might seem that the tawdry details of Davis’ personal history are exactly the kind of irrelevant gossip that the press should let go. After all, from a Catholic perspective, Davis’ pro-choice advocacy would only be that much more offensive if she were a lifelong practicing Catholic.

Nevertheless, it does matter, and it’s important to understand why. Davis told her life story over the course of her eleven-hour filibuster last June, in an effort to block Senate Bill 5 from passing the Texas state Senate. The bill was designed to tighten restrictions on abortion in the state of Texas. By keeping the Senate tied up until midnight, Davis succeeded in preventing its passage during that particular legislative session, but shortly afterwards Texas governor Rick Perry convened a special session during which the bill was passed.

In legislative terms, Davis’ strategy was effectively a failure, but in political terms it was far more successful. Through her filibuster Davis vaulted herself into the pantheon of anti-life titans. She is now poised to run for governor in the state of Texas, and at the heart of that campaign is her personal story about starting out in a trailer park as a divorced teenage mother, and ending up as a Harvard-educated lawyer with a bright political future.

As it happens, though, Davis’ account played fast and loose with some of the details. Admittedly, the factual inaccuracies might be dismissed as technicalities, and on those grounds the liberal press has dismissed them as unimportant. Davis claimed to have been divorced at 19, but in fact she was only separated; the divorce was not finalized until two years later. She exaggerated her mother’s hard-luck history by claiming that she had had no more than a sixth-grade education, when further investigation revealed that her mother had indeed attended high school. These, however, are relatively minor details.

Still, the overall shape of the story is far less sympathetic than Davis’ initial telling would suggest. She did, as claimed, live in a trailer for a few months before getting her own apartment. She did indeed attend community college while raising a daughter from her first failed marriage. But her move to Harvard came at the expense (literally) of her second husband, attorney Jeff Davis, who cashed in his 401(k) and took loans to help pay for her law school education. He also cared for her daughters in Fort Worth while she was in Boston attending law school. When she demanded a divorce (which, as he wryly observed, happened remarkably soon after the last educational payment had been made), Jeff Davis won custody of the younger daughter while his wife was ordered to pay child support.

Unsurprisingly, the conservative press has been quick to publicize the truth of Davis’ deception, and the liberal press has been equally eager to accuse their conservative counterparts of sexism. Many liberal journalists and bloggers indignantly remarked that a male politician would never be criticized for depending on spousal support in pursuing his career. It was Davis’ womanhood, not her minor fabrications, that put her in the crosshairs.

Would a male politician be exonerated if relied heavily on his wife for career support and then abandoned her once he’d arrived? I expect not. Nevertheless, liberals are right that the attacks on Davis take note of her sex. It could hardly be otherwise, because a male politician could never have climbed the ladder in the way that Davis did.

Feminists have long worked to control the conversation about abortion by restricting who is “qualified” to contribute. Men are not qualified, because they are unable to bear children themselves. Although it might seem that men do have a stake in defending the lives of innocent children (particularly their own), feminists dismiss it as the epitome of patriarchal domination when men ask women to bear children against their will. After their initial contribution to the act of procreation, men may participate only as cheerleaders and financiers for whatever course of action the woman prefers.

The unborn, conveniently, are literally unable to speak for themselves. At the critical period in which their lives hang in the balance, their lungs are not yet developed enough to utter a sound. They can be effectively sidelined.

Accordingly, it is women who are left to settle the abortion question. But even among women, some voices are more authoritative than others, because the hardship associated with childbearing varies widely from one woman to another. A woman from a wealthy family who engages in pro-life advocacy is likely to be dismissed, because she cannot understand the interests of poorer women for whom children will represent a much greater burden. Even just having a husband may make a woman seem less qualified to address the situation of the “less fortunate.” Somewhat obtusely, making sensible life choices seems to diminish a woman’s standing to express a view on what sorts of choices women ought to make.

Interestingly, though, advocates for legal abortion do tend to brag about their maternity, whereas they rarely broadcast the number of abortions they themselves have had. That’s because Americans are still troubled by abortion, and worried that it is used as a callous and selfish way of prioritizing adult comforts over children’s lives. The perfect advocate, then, is a woman who has faced the sorts of circumstances that might drive some to abortion, but herself taken the harder road and come out smiling.

That was the Wendy Davis story. She was the perfect women’s advocate. Someone who really knows the hardships that women face. Someone who had shouldered responsibility, weathered the storm, and ultimately climbed the crag.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the real truth is far less inspiring, and having leaned so heavily on her story as evidence of her fitness for office, Davis can hardly cry foul when conservatives do the same. The real Wendy Davis was not a brave, independent woman who pulled herself up by her bootstraps while lovingly nurturing her offspring. She relied on a man (and to all appearances used him rather badly), and left her children in another state while she pursued her education. Coupling that with her aggressive pro-choice advocacy, would it be wholly unreasonable to conclude that Davis may not like children all that much?

Either personal narrative matters, or it doesn’t. If it does, Wendy Davis looks like a callous opportunist and a morally unserious person. She also lies. I can’t imagine the state of Texas wanting to mess with a person like that.

(Photo credit: Dallas Morning News.)

Rachel Lu

By

Rachel Lu, a Catholic convert, teaches philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota where she lives with her husband and four boys. Dr. Lu earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at rclu.

  • ForChristAlone

    How can she be a Governor of any State when she believes in the taking of the life of a defenseless and innocent human person? How cruel and heartless is that?

    • smokes

      she meets the first qualification: She’s a serial liar.

      • Prof_Override

        Just like Rick Perry and “W” before her, and don’t forget that flaming piece of garbage, David Dewhurst, who will most likely be next liar in chief of the great state of Texas.

  • Nestorian

    Without wanting in any way to defend Wendy Davis, I must say that it is very true that religious and political conservatives tend to apply very differing moral standards in determining whether politicians on their own side pass muster, as compared to politicians on the opposing side.

    Consider, for example, that Newt Gingrich is now in his third marriage, and that he callously divorced his first wife as she was wracked with cancer on her deathbed so as to further his political ambitions. These sordid personal details, which surely surpass what Lu has written about Wendy Davis, did not prevent the National Catholic Register from writing fawning pieces on Gingrich, particularly following his conversion to Catholicism.

    The fact is, though, that the man is a serial adulterer. Why the outrage over Davis, and the lack of outrage over Gingrich? The answer is simple, I submit: It is hypocritical political opportunism.
    Many, many other examples of similar hypocritical political opportunism could be cited: Reagan was divorced and remarried, Henry Hyde had an adulterous affair as a middle-aged man, Pat Robertson lied about the fact that his first child was borne out of wedlock when he ran for president some years ago, “”Book of Virtues” Bill Bennett turned out to have a serious gambling addiction all along, etc., etc.

    • Rock St. Elvis

      As far as I know, for all their shortcomings, Reagan, Gingrich, Hyde and Bennett never lied about their failures or embellished them as actual successes. And playing computer poker, as Bennett did, is hardly a “serious gambling addiction” or even much of a vice.

      • nestorian

        Based on what I recall reading, Bennett lost $7 million on gambling over a series of years. That is indeed a “serious gambling addiction.”
        And Robertson DID lie about his shortcomings – as you are evidently aware, since you did not mention him.
        As for Reagan, Gingrich, and Hyde not lying, that may or may not be true, but is not really the issue. I’ll focus on Gingrich, since he is still living and somewhat politically relevant. Gingrich’s second and third marriages both began with him having adulterous affairs while married to his previous wife. Thus, his CURRENT marriage is the outcome of adultery. Based on Catholic marriage doctrine, I don’t see how it can be regarded as anything other than adulterous.
        Yet, the man is not repentant: he has not divorced his current “wife” (a woman who is, in truth, an ongoing co-adulteress), he has not made amends and reparation to his past wife, he has not given evidence of having overcome what is obviously a repetitive pattern of philandering behavior, he has not adopted a penitential life of chasteness and celibacy to atone for the gravity of his past marital betrayals, etc., etc.
        In short, Newt Gingrich continues to live in sin, yet the National Catholic Register falls all over itself in groveling to him. It is a disgusting spectacle to behold.

        • Art Deco

          See my comments above. You’re not fooling anyone.

          • Nestorian

            Do you think Gingrich’s current marriage to Callista is morally legitimate, or not? Is he an unrepentant adulterer, or not?
            And by the way, I am pro-life.

            • Art Deco

              I do not care for Gingrich’s behavior. I do not understand or approve of the work of canon shysters. What of it? The miasma is still flowing from Davis.

              • Nestorian

                What of it? To the extent that you rush to denounce the likes of Davis because you disagree with her politics, but refrain from denouncing the likes of Gingrich because you agree with his, you are an opportunistic hypocrite. (I leave it to you to search your conscience and determine to what extent, if any, you are guilty of such opportunistic hypocrisy.)

                • Art Deco

                  Your statement is an inane non sequitur, and amounts to saying Dr. Lu cannot comment on anything unless she has run down some register of transgressive politicians and remarked on each and every one. That stated principle makes no sense unless your purpose is to shield Davis from criticism.

                  • Objectivetruth

                    He/she is throwing hand grenades to derail the conversation. You’re “look, squirrel” analogy was spot on, Art.

                  • nestorian

                    If she cannot be even-handed and denounce Gingrich too, then yes, she should refrain from commenting. The double-standard in not doing so is glaring and brings discredit upon the moral witness of Christianity.
                    Did she or did she not denounce Gingrich when it would have been appropriate to do so – when he was running for president recently as a recent Catholic convert who was nevertheless a continuing serial adulterer? On the contrary, I consider it highly likely, if anything, that she endorsed him.

                • smokes

                  What’s a liberal to do without personal attacks. They are his stock in trade, aren’t they, nestor? Be kinder to your fellow bloogers when you disagree with them, especially in this lovely magazine.

            • smokes

              Who are we to judge?

              • Nestorian

                But if that is true, then it applies to Wendy Davis also.

            • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

              I don’t happen to like Mr. Gingrich as a politician, and I cannot foresee any circumstance in which I would vote for the man. I was also one of many faculty members who were somewhat appalled that he was invited to speak at Franciscan University. I think that, politically at least, he is an opportunist and was simply using us. However, it doesn’t matter what you or I think of Gingrich as a married man, or as a Catholic. The Church has sole authority to issue declarations in that regard. As for me, I have made some whopper mistakes in my life, and have been to confession often. Please write my name down in your Big Book of Catholic Sinners.

              • Nestorian

                Wow – just, wow. I’m stunned. Steubenville invited him to speak??? I hope, at the very least, there was a contingent of student and faculty protesters, picketing and heckling.

                • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                  No, just stayed away from the event.

                  • Nestorian

                    That doesn’t seem very courageous – especially for a tenured faculty member, whose career would not be placed in jeopardy by actively protesting, and for whom the very raison d’etre of his tenured privilege is to offer him immunity in taking publicly controversial stands.
                    That applies alike to stands on Newt Gingrich and to stands on the student loan crisis.

                    • Art Deco

                      You’re obsessed with Gingrich. Not everyone is. Get over it.

                    • Nestorian

                      Obviously, you’re missing my central point (see above).
                      Or are you?

                    • Art Deco

                      Your central point, sister, is that Dr. Lu is obligated to write about the topics you would like addressed. Your central point is that of someone striking attitudes if they are not just being stupid.

                    • Nestorian

                      No, it is that the likes of yourself and Rachel Lu are hypocrites for applying blatant double-standards to your evaluation of politicians you like, such as Gingrich, and ones you don’t like, such as Davis. Read my earliest posts; that has been my main point since the beginning.

                    • Art Deco

                      Dr. Lu did not make a comparative assessment at all. Mine was to state that Gingrich is not quite the mercenary figure that Davis is (which is demonstrably true).

                    • Nestorian

                      I don’t think you’ll, forget this exchange for a while – which is all to the good. Maybe you will think twice in the future in holding and deploying views that are pervaded by blatant double-standards.

                    • Art Deco

                      No, I will remember it as an example of someone being remarkably persistent in the service of a silly statement.

                    • Nestorian

                      I’m obsessed with hypocrisy and “holier-than-thou” judgmental narrowness in conservative Catholics when I see it, which is often.

                    • Art Deco

                      Yeah, you got issues.

                    • Nestorian

                      Oh, so now you are reduced to hurling ad hominem insults.
                      And lest you label my accusations against you as such, they are NOT. You have placed evidence in support of them in your own personal case on public record in this thread, and I had an abundance of evidence attesting to the general prevalence of the hypocrisy and double-standards I called out on this thread even before I posted. Rachel Lu’s choice article was merely another piece of evidence on top of a large pile.

                    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                      Nesty, not everyone lives in Haight-Ashbury and smokes weed, you know. Protesting is not always a part of the adult world. Being a Roman Catholic is a “publicly controversial stand” today, as your anti-Catholic rants amply demonstrate.

                    • Assyrian

                      The positions I have argued for on Crisis are NOT anti-Catholic. Nothing I have argued for (as “Nestorian”) on this or any prior thread is against the teachings of the Catholic Church. This applies alike to:
                      .
                      My moral arguments re the student loan crisis
                      .
                      My defense of those who choose to have few or no children
                      .
                      My pointing out of various moral double standards that Catholics commonly engage in.
                      .
                      As for protests in general not being part of the adult world, you would certainly not put the Washington March for Life in this category, would you?
                      .
                      And regarding Newt Gingrich, if obstinate adultery is a sufficiently grave matter for the Franciscan University of Steubenville to dismiss tenured faculty over it, as they recently did with a philosophy professor, then it certainly seems worth protesting when the university lends its lavish approbation to a leading politician basking in the acclaim of his newly minted Catholicism, yet who persists in behavior that is fundamentally the same as that of the professor who was recently dismissed.

                    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                      Once again, I am afraid you do not know what you are talking about where FUS is concerned. By the way, just how many pseudonyms do you hide behind, anyway?

                    • Assyrian

                      Test post, to determine the effective limits of Crisis Management’s decision to ban my posts.

                    • Assyrian

                      Professor Williams,

                      I’m glad you are still paying attention. Regarding my pseudonyms, it is a simple matter of prudence: I do not enjoy the benefits of tenure to protect my professional position when I advance controversial views. May I suggest that you recall your own relatively unique privileges in this regard before you denounce those who employ pseudonyms because they do not enjoy the same.

                      As for FUS, you are right that I don’t know what percentage of annual operating funds come out of student loans. That is why I have asked you to provide that information, since it is morally pertinent as regards the university operating model that under-girds your salary.

                      However, you are wrong that I don’t know a lot about the situation of the tenured philosophy faculty member who was recently dismissed. I am in fact privy to certain inside information that I would hazard to guess even you do not know. As such, I am in a good position to carry out a comparative evaluation of the university’s treatment of unrepentant adulterer A, on the one hand (Gingrich) and of unrepentant adulterer B, on the other (the tenured faculty member who was dismissed).

                      It is clear to me that a blatant and rather disgusting moral double-standard is in play. On the one hand, the university goes to great lengths, over a period of years, to dismiss the faculty member. On the other hand, the university obsequiously prostrates itself before Gingrich, notwithstanding that his obstinate continuation of adulterous behavior glaringly belies his professed conversion to Catholicism.

                      Yes, sir, you should have protested the situation, much for the same reasons that tenured faculty members at Georgetown and Notre Dame ought to be employing the privileges of their tenured status to protest publicly when their universities invite the likes of Clinton and Obama to speak.

                    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                      “Professor Williams, I’m glad you are still paying attention.” That’s what it all really come down to: You want attention. Signing off now…

                    • Assyrian

                      Whether I am personally in pathological need of attention or not does not in the least minimize the cogency of my arguments, none of which have as yet been refuted.

                      As I have raised serious issues with moral implications for yourself personally, I think you would be well advised to continue paying attention – particularly to everything I have said concerning the student loan crisis.

                    • Art Deco

                      Somehow I suspect the administration at Steubenville is more interested in the composition of their faculty than in the biography of people who step on the campus for a speaking engagement and then leave a few hours later.

                      Tends to work that way among people who want to accomplish something (as opposed to people who strike attitudes).

                    • Assyrian

                      On the contrary, a high-profile event by a leading politician with presidential aspirations (which Gingrich had at the time) sends a powerful message about what the university administration stands for, and is intended by them to do so.
                      .
                      And regardless of the comparative importance of faculty composition versus speaker selection, my moral indictment stands: The Steubenville Administration has demonstrated a blatant and hypocritical moral double-standard in firing a tenured faculty member for the very kind of moral turpitude that it ignored in lavishing public acclaim upon Gingrich.
                      .
                      And even if they hadn’t fired the professor, their disgusting fawning before the altar of worldly power in inviting Gingrich should have elicited public, forceful condemnation from leading tenured faculty, such as Professor Williams.

                    • Art Deco

                      On the contrary my a$$, The Gingrich’s were there to introduce a film screening.

                      http://www.franciscan.edu/News/2010/Gingriches_Screen_Film_on_Pope_John_Paul_II/

                • Conniption Fitz

                  Jesus embraced repentant sinners.

        • ROB

          What exactly does playing the slots, a fool’s errand, have to do with the fitness for office of a mendacious and fanatical supporter of the unhindered license to slaughter babies in their mothers’ womb? Other than distract from that unpleasant fact.

          • Nestorian

            What I am trying to show is that Lu’s attack against Wendy Davis is based on hypocritical political opportunism. What is good for the Goose (Davis) must also be good for the gander (e.g., Gingrich), but it seemingly never is for the likes of Lu, the National Catholic Register, etc.
            And just to be clear: I regard politics as irredeemably corrupt, and I trust no politician – be they a Davis or a Gingrich. So my points involve no attempt to defend Davis – just an attempt to attack religious hypocrisy when I see it.

            • Objectivetruth

              But you are in here as an anti Catholic troll.

              • Nestorian

                I have found that “troll” is an entirely relative term: A person on an internet forum is a “troll” by virtue of the extent of her disagreement with the prevailing opinions. As this definition says nothing whatsoever about the truth or falsehood of the conflicting views, it is entirely inappropriate to deploy it as a term of derision or denunciation. Please argue the issues instead.

                • Objectivetruth

                  But you are a self professed follower of the Catholic heretic, Nestorius, are you not? You have already posted that you don’t believe the Roman Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ, correct? In many of your postings (from the Church’s sex scandal, to Newt Gingrich’s divorces, attacking the NCR, attacking the papacy) you are trying to put the Catholic Church in a poor, hypocritical light.

                  So therefore, one has to view your postings through the lenses of someone who is anti Catholic, and does not believe the Catholic Church is Christ’s voice box on earth. You choose to attack the sinners who are part of the Church, in some arse backwards way trying to discredit the Catholic Church. It’s like you’re trying to put forth that tired old argument against the Church of: “See…..the members of the Catholic Church don’t follow its teachings! What a bunch of hypocrites! Nestorius was right!”

                  Tiresome.

                • smokes

                  Irony is nestor asking “Please argue the issues.”

                  You can disagree without being so disagreeable you know.

                • Adam__Baum

                  It may be relative, but in your case entirely appropriate, troll.

                  You obviously have a need for attention, any kind of attention.

            • Art Deco

              What I am trying to show is that Lu’s attack against Wendy Davis is based on hypocritical political opportunism.

              How? When was Lu ever a press agent for Newt Gingrich? You do understand there is such a thing as personal agency? The whole mass of humanity who annoy you are not some Borg creature.

              • Nestorian

                Did Lu publicly denounce Gingrich for his serial and continuing adultery in a blog post devoted to the matter when he was a candidate for President in 2012? If not, why not?
                It seems to me that the need to exclude candidates from office who are objectionable on the grounds of political opportunism (in Gingrich’s case, based on his professed conversion to Catholicism despite his continuing adultery) were just as pressing in Gingrich’s case as they are now in Davis’s.

                • Art Deco

                  Now you’re grasping.

                  The woman is a philosophy professor with three children. There are 17 hours in the waking day. She writes avocationally. Even if she were a professional, there is no end to the things about which you can write and you set priorities according to your particular vocation. She’s not some puppy dog commanded to do tricks for you and your insistence that she has no valid argument unless she has proven to you that she said or thought x, y, or z at point in time a, b, or c about N.L. Gingrich or Mel Gibson or Joe Blow off the sidewalks of Akron is just presumptuous.

                  Send your complaint to the National Catholic Register. (And given your behavior on this thread, it would not surprise me in the least to discover that you have misrepresented them as well).

                • Conniption Fitz

                  Newt has repented and come to Christ. That is the difference between Newt and Teddy Kennedy, Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, JFK, et al.

                  • Nestorian

                    There is no genuine repentance until he desists from his ongoing adultery with Callista.

        • smokes

          is a guy worth 80 million who loses 7 million an addict or a hobbyist? If he lost 90 of his 80 million…you’d have a point.

          Is someone who spends 50% of his savings to climb Mt. Everest an addict? What of the pol who mortgages his home to seek public office? Everyone knows a cheap shot artist, nestor.

        • flourgiggy

          Good grief, Nesty, you have little to do. You are obsessed with keeping your very large and detailed book of “public sinners and philanderers.”

          It must be a full-time job keeping up with all these sinners and every little detail — and you haven’t even started revealing what you’ve got on the assorted Democrats.

          BTW, I think your argument is with the National Catholic Register. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

          • Nestorian

            The overlap in readership and ideological commitment between Crisis and the Register is sufficiently substantial as to make them effectively one and the same.

            • Objectivetruth

              What? That our “ideological commitment” is we believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ?

              Seriously….go troll somewhere else. Your anti Catholic bigotry has been seen countless times before and becomes quite tedious.

              • Nestorian

                No one is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to respond to my comments, are they?

                • Objectivetruth

                  Because anti Catholic prejudice and bigotry must be identified and called out. Sometimes such bigotry is subtle, being soft sold as in your postings. And the light of Truth must be shed upon such ignorant bigotry.

                  • Nestorian

                    It is not prejudice, nor is it bigotry. It is a well-researched, well thought-through, and well-considered rejection of Roman Catholic claims as being of human rather than divine origin, and demonstrably false. There is a difference.
                    Apart from that, Catholic political attitudes are often insufferable – though the two issues of theology and political attitudes are actually intimately related, I believe.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      Then why are you spending so much time on Catholic websites?

                      You have consciously chosen to be a follower of Nestorius, one of the most (in)famous Catholic heretics in the history of the Church. And be clear: Nestorianism is a heresy of the Catholic Church, not vise versa. Peter was given the charge and authority from Christ to build His Church, the keys to the Kingdom, the ability to “bind and loose”, not Nestorius, who never knew Christ. You need to rethink your well researched rejection. Nestorius had as much claim to define Christ’s teachings as other heretics such as Mohammed, Luther, etc.

                      If you were here on a Catholic website to try and honestly follow a journey of Truth, that’s one thing. But you are just here to ignorantly attack the Church, albeit in an indirect, “cutesy” way. So once again, your postings must be seen through those lenses.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      There’s the door, don’t let it hit you on the backside.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      You have chosen to follow a much refuted heretic from sixteen centuries ago, Nestorian. I find that quite baffling. All followers of heretics say they have “well thought through” reasoning for their rejection of Catholicism. Islam, Arianism, 30,000 Protestant faiths, and Nestorians all claim to be their own little vaticans. How do you know your particular heretical view of the Catholic Church is the correct one, and other heresies (Islam, Protestantism) are incorrect? In other wards, where does any heretic get the stones to say that they are right, and that the Church started by Christ through Peter, is wrong? Quite frankly, your brand of heresy is no better than any other heresy. It is only what it is: Catholic heresy.

            • Art Deco

              Let go of my leg, and everyone else’s.

            • flourgiggy

              And, so, Nesty, what’s your point? Are you suggesting that ideologically-alligned individuals comprise the readership of both Crisis and National Catholic Register?

              To quote the teens: “Duh!!!”

              Perhaps your point is that there should be no publications like Crisis or National Catholic Register for these people to read. Censorship, Nesty? Worked for Hitler, so one can understand your supporting it.

        • Guest

          Sounds like calumny to me.

        • cestusdei

          Bill Clinton and teenage interns? Remember that?

          • Nestorian

            Did I ever say Bill Clinton was a paragon of virtue? No, he’s a scumbag, just like virtually all politicians – Republican and Democrat.

            • Michael

              Nestorian, your poise is very impressive and I marvel at your consistency of tone. I am sure that few people have the patience to discuss the issues with others whose views they strongly disagree with. But what do you hope to accomplish by posting here? You may want to shed a light on whatever you find disagreeable in Catholic views. but truly, your perception of Catholic views is really lacking … from a Catholic perspective. You don’t have the faith that we have in the Catholic Church. We believe it was founded by Christ Himself, who is God. If you wish to shake our belief by pointing out all the worldly and human things that go on in the Catholic scenes, that doesn’t shake our resolve, because we accept those worldly and human things as part of reality, but a reality, no less, that God is working in and through, in ways that we cannot begin to comprehend.
              This is where my peace comes from, knowing that God is present and will redeem all in the end, no matter how nasty it gets.

              • Nestorian

                My friend, I GREW UP Catholic, I am familiar with Steubenville, I read all the right-wing Catholic stuff growing up, etc., so I am very familiar with Catholic views. So I know my perceptions to be fundamentally accurate.

                • Michael

                  I did not say you were unfamiliar with Catholic views, but rather that you do not hold the Catholic faith. My point stands. Your perception is lacking because you do not hold the fundamental belief that I tried to articulate. You may have once, and I encourage you to once again.
                  Your perceptions may be valid within their own scope and the subjects you apply them to, but they remain perceptions, that may or may not line up with what our God has in his ineluctable plan for us.

                  • Nestorian

                    It is quite patronizing of you to imply that my perspective on life is somehow limited or deficient, compared to your own. Since you have “gone there,” I will come right out and affirm the exact opposite to be true.

            • Adam__Baum

              Then perhaps the account of the devil tempting Christ with all the kingdoms of the world if Christ would just bow down would resonate with you.

        • Conniption Fitz

          See my comment on Newt above.

        • Rock St. Elvis

          I don’t care about Pat Robertson. I did not comment about him, and I’ve never seen anyone on this site tout him as someone to follow. Why would they?

          As for Bennett, I don’t know how much he gambled, but he did not render himself insolvent and more importantly, he gave up the gambling. He admitted it was not a good example. So why dwell on it now?

          With respect to Gingrich, I don’t know much about him either but you appear to know even less. Yes, he reportedly left his first wife for some new woman, whom he “married.” But since he was already truly married to his first wife, his second marriage would not have been valid. Then his first wife died, leaving him eligible to truly marry again. So his current wife is someone he would have been eligible to marry in the eyes of the Church. I don’t know how he met his current wife, but my understanding is that his conversion came after all his putative gallivanting. I don’t know whether his conversion is genuine, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until he shows otherwise.

          In the meantime, next time I’m in need of a moral audit, I’ll keep you in mind.

          • Art Deco

            Jackie Battley died in August 2013. He married Callista Bisek about a dozen years ago after an affair of some years. He cheated on Marianne Ginther for 7 years w/ Callista. These women split three ways on his most recent candidacy: Callista campaigned for him, Marianne denounced him, and Jackie declined to comment.

          • Assyrian

            If moral audits are such a bad thing, then what right does Rachel Lu have to be administering one to to Wendy Davis?

            • Rock St. Elvis

              Wendy Davis lies about her shortcomings in order to portray them as strengths, as if they are reason to vote for her. If she weren’t doing that, then pointing out her various foibles would indeed come across as petty.

              • Assyrian

                Please note that I never made a moral audit of you personally; you are neither a public figure, nor have you made comments that warrant a moral audit (as other commenters, however, have).
                .
                Rather, I pointed out that what is good for the goose must be good for the gander: If moral audits of Wendy Davis are called for because she is a public figure, then mutatis mutandis, moral audits of Newt Gingrich and the like are equally called for on precisely the same grounds.

    • Guest

      Your points have some validity, but the essay is still right on target. The author did an excellent job in describing the tactics of the left. It is exactly like the “Gay” lobby tactics. The idea is to claim you cannot criticize terribly immoral behavior because you just do not understand. It is solipsism and facile.

      • Nestorian

        And you think the same kinds of sleazy tactics are not practiced to at least an equal if not greater extent by those political elements whom this website generally champions?? Please. The political naivete that prevails among conservative Catholics never ceases to take my breath away, even after many years of being witness to it.

        • Adam__Baum

          Politicians are like diapers (location, content) and should be changed frequently for the same reason.

          All one needs due is remove the rose-colored glasses, to realize that Augustine’s libido dominandi is alive and well, and there was a good reason for the Lord’s frequent analogies of people to sheep.

        • Guest

          I disagree. When has this website overlooked a pro-abortion politician and defended his/her stance?

        • Guest

          ..

    • Art Deco

      Nice try, Nestorian.

      1. Ronald Reagan was the defendant (not the plaintiff) in a divorce suit initiated by Jane Wyman. She did not have grounds and offered a dubious charge of ‘mental cruelty’. Reagan hoped for a reconciliation for several years thereafter, but she would have none of it. Over the period running from 1933 to 1965, Jane Wyman contracted five civil marriages to four different men. Her marriage to Reagan was the only one that lasted more than four years and the only one which produced any children. (Her fansite still refuses to acknowledge her marriage to Ernest Wyman even though Edmund Morris found the marriage license in the Los Angeles County archives; how much you want to bet that’s because she never had a civil divorce from him and all her other marriages were bigamous?).

      2. Since when has Newton LeRoy Gingrich been a particular favorite of social conservatives? Gov. Huckabee and Sen. Santorum, yes; Gingrich, never.

      3. The closest thing to an analogue to Davis’ behavior in Gingrich’s history was the financial support his 1st wife provided when he was a college student. His wife was eight years his senior and he was the primary earner in their family for about half their marriage.

      4. Henry Hyde had an affair unknown to the public during the years running from 1965 to 1969. It was exposed 29 years later for no good reason by Salon, simply because Hyde was in the way. How is anything he did or said during 32 years in Congress rendered ‘hypocritical opportunism’? Hyde was admired for his work on behalf of the unborn. How is this invalidated by his affair with Cherie Snodgrass?

      5. What is your point vis a vis Robertson? His wife was pregnant when he married her? This is important to you why?

      6. Bennett has a gambling problem. This is of interest why?

      You are attempting to excuse Davis, who is not only an advocate of gross evils, which none of these men were, but who has fabricated not incidental details of her life but essential ones. Her whole self-presentation is phony.

      Spending too much money playing slot machines, canoodling with your girlfriend, and having a discrete and circumscribed affair are offenses a good deal less appalling than Davis’ exploitative behavior; she also must have been a piece of work to lose custody of her daughter. The only one who approaches Davis is Gingrich, and he merely approaches. As for Reagan, he did nothing culpable. Your throwing oatmeal to see if something sticks.

      • Nestorian

        As I said in the very first sentence, I have no intention of defending Davis. My sole intention is to attack religiously-based political hypocrisy when I see it. And I am pro-life.
        I would say Gingrich is clearly WORSE than Davis, based on how he treated his first wife on her deathbed. And he is unrepentant, he is still alive and politically significant, the National Catholic Register has published fawning interviews with him – and Rachel Lu and her ilk cannot be bothered to critique him as a public figure, but only the likes of Davis.
        The stench of the hypocrisy is overpowering.

        • Objectivetruth

          Not hypocrisy. As a sinner, Gingrich knew he must admit himself in to the hospital for sinners, the Catholic Church.

          But you’ve already admitted that you are anti Catholic, and believe the Catholic Church is not the True Church.

          So have full disclosure, you’re on the site with an anti Catholic agenda.

          • Nestorian

            But he has not yet separated himself from his current partner-in-adultery, Callista, and seems to have no intention of ever doing so. This is essential, as the church is only a hospital for grave sinners insofar as they repent and reform.

        • Art Deco

          Nestorian, will you please stop recycling Kos kids lies? His marriage to Jackie Battley was dissolved in 1981. The first Mrs. Gingrich died in August of 2013. You think she was on her deathbed for 33 years?

          He did have with her a discussion of aspects of their ongoing divorce proceedings when she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery in 1980; he did not, as has been reported, serve papers on her. They were already separated at that point (and a party to a suit cannot effect valid service anyway).

          • Nestorian

            Why should I believe you and not the Kos kis? Do you think conservative politicians and political operatives are somehow less likely to lie than liberal ones? If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

            • BPS

              Because anyone who doesn’t believe in God and believe that he will hold you accountable for your actions (such as Kos) will lie because it serves the greater good. BTW, never believe the NARAL types who say they know pro-lifers who picket their offices and then seek abortions for their daughters. They’re “lying for the greater good”.

            • Art Deco

              http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-obituaries/jacqueline-battley-gingrich-77-taught-math-for-mor/nZJT9/

              This is the 1st Mrs. Gingrich’s obituary, dated 8 August 2013. A little problem-solving ability, sister, it’s great stuff.

        • Art Deco

          What you are doing is attacking anyone who holds Davis accountable by saying, “look squirrel”. It will not wash. I will not speculate as to why you fancy this is a worthwhile activity.

        • flourgiggy

          Boy, Nesty, have you got “issues.” Pro-life? Why do I have trouble believing you?

          Sniff around your own space, Nesty. I wouldn’t be surprised if the “stench” you perceive isn’t coming from you and your own “hypocrisy.”.

        • Guest

          Worse than Davis? Which planet?

        • cestusdei

          John Edwards? Wife dying of cancer and him taking off with Argentine honey? Hypocrisy anyone?

          • Nestorian

            As I said above, they’re all scumbags – Republican and Democrat. The problem is that people on this website only recognize scumminess in Democrats, and not also in Democrats. Partly this is due to ignorance, but partly it is due to the sort of hypocritical political opportunism for which I criticized Rachel Lu.

            • Art Deco

              She wrote an article on the subject of Wendy Davis, who is running for Governor of Texas and who has just been revealed to have a history of grossly mercenary behavior and lying in addition to her rancid political advocacy. That is the occasion of the article. The question is topical.

              You’re response to this article is to kvetch kvetch kvetch that Dr. Lu should have written about someone else, which is a nonsense complaint unless you’re a paid advocate for the Democratic Party. Somebody else is not running for Governor of Texas, Wendy Davis is. You’ve dragged in the name of Ronald Reagan (who did nothing transgressive), Pat Robertson (who committed a discrete and comparatively minor offense nearly sixty years ago), and William J. Bennett (who wasted his resources but committed no mortal sins).

              Now you’ve been reduced to complaining about purely hypothetical neglect of the transgressions of other individuals. You made a bad argument. Deal with it and stop dancing from one square to another. You beclown yourself.

              Get it through your addled head: this is a Catholic magazine specifically concerned with a small menu of public policy questions. They write about politicians who are troublesome with regard to these questions. No, such politicians are not evenly distributed between the parties.

              • Nestorian

                Their menu is inexcusably narrow, would be another way of putting my point. Ultimately, everything that is wrong with politics on any issue is rooted in the lying and deceit that pervade the domain. Yet this website, and others like it, countenance lying in the service of war (Iraq), lying and other serious forms of corruption by their political friends, etc., etc.
                Above, we learn from Timothy Williams that Gingrich was recently welcomed with honors to give a lecture at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Why did he, or Rachel Lu, not write a post on Crisis protesting the fact that Steubenville was honoring a continuing, unrepentant adulterer, who furthermore had the temerity to besmirch the Catholic faith by publicly converting to it, yet obstinately continuing to persist in his mortal sin?

                • Art Deco

                  Their menu is inexcusably narrow,

                  Then start your own bloody magazine.

                  After this discussion, none of us have any reason to believe the rest of your screed is offered in good faith.

                  • Nestorian

                    Sometimes it can be useful to shake things up. My points about the moral equivalency of Davis and Gingrich, and the hypocritical political opportunism inherent in ignoring this equivalency, have evidently ruffled some feathers around here. That is all to the good, and it was my purpose all along.

                    • Art Deco

                      It was not all to the good. Your argument was stupid where it was not dishonest.

                      Gingrich is not running against Wendy Davis; none of the five men you named have any connection to Davis or have ever run for office in Texas; two did not commit any obtrusive sexual transgression, one committed a comparatively minor transgression decades ago, one of the remainder is deceased (and his transgressions occurred more than four decades ago), and one has not held any public office in 15 years. I do not imagine you selected the five least applicable examples when you were plotting to throw chaff in everyone’s face.

                    • Nestorian

                      None of what you cite undermines the basic social reality I am calling attention to, which is a pervasive double-standard and associated hypocrisy among the Catholic Right when it comes to the politicians they denounce or fail to denounce, and their motives for doing so.

                    • Art Deco

                      Oh yes it does. There is no double standard in Dr. Lu’s article. She is addressing a discrete situation. You are insisting, quite gratuitously, that she write about matters irrelevant to that situation.

                    • Nestorian

                      There is a double standard in her general attitude, though, as there is in yours. In your case, it became fully manifest in your early attempts to defend Gingrichl

                    • Art Deco

                      Once more with feeling. You said he served divorce papers on his wife ‘on her deathbed’. He did not serve any papers and she was not on her deathbed. How is it a ‘double standard’ to correct the falsehoods you’ve uttered.

                      As for Davis, she hit the road once her husband had paid off her debts. IIRC, Gingrich took over as the primary earner in his household around about 1972 and continued to be married to Jackie Battley for about eight years. He left the marriage with a share of the couple’s debts. The factual distinction is why his behavior is not quite as disagreeable as hers. (He also did not blow off his children).

                    • Nestorian

                      Here’s what I think: Gingrich thought she was on her deathbed, he served her papers in the callous way that has been reported – but then she recovered. Her recovery or lack of same, as proven by her very recent death, is irrelevant: Gingrich behaved monstrously regardless.
                      I challenge you to prove me wrong.

                    • Art Deco

                      No one is obligated to shadow box with your imagination. In any case, you can contend with these people:

                      http://www.factcheck.org/2011/12/the-gingrich-divorce-myth/

                    • Assyrian

                      So you are entirely willing to do google searches to defend Gingrich, yet you are unwilling to do the simplest of google searches to inform yourself of truths revealing the criminality of Bush’s Iraq invasion.
                      .
                      Once more, your hypocritical double-standard is on blatant display.

                    • Art Deco

                      You again.

                      I do not need to do any Google searches about Bush’s ‘criminality’. I am familiar with the sequence of events. Neither your imagination nor your malice interests me.

                    • Assyrian

                      Scott Ritter, a former US marine and the chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, testified to the fact that all WMD had been cleared out of Iraq by 1998, under Clinton, after he had exhaustively managed the process over a period of years.
                      .
                      Bush and his minions KNEW this, and they LIED so as to foment a murderous war. I myself knew this was going on LONG BEFORE the actual launch of the invasion in March 2003, and anyone intelligent who wished to could have easily determined it for themselves.
                      .
                      What Bush and his minions did is a war crime according to the Nuremburg Standard that was used to convict the minions of Hitler.
                      .
                      You are willfully ignorant of this, and thus an apologist for heinous evil. Insofar as you posture as a defender of morality apart from this, you are a hypocrite.

                    • Art Deco

                      Ritter had no recent technical intelligence information.

                      As for the rest, you’re just making stuff up.

                    • Art Deco

                      We’ve gotten rather far afield here, and that’s not my doing.

                      Assyrian, the one consistent element in all your dissatisfying exchanges is you.

                      Happy trails.

                • Adam__Baum

                  Once again, there’s the door.

          • Art Deco

            You’ve conflated John Edwards (whose wife was latently ill while he whored around on her and sired a bastard child) and Mark Sanford, who had an Argentine mistress but whose estranged wife is very much alive.

            • cestusdei

              Gee sorry, I get my liberal democrat whoremongers mixed up sometimes…there are so many.

              • Art Deco

                Gov. Sanford is a Republican.

                • cestusdei

                  Okay shall I name a dozen more democrats to make up for it? Will that satisfy you?

                  • Nestorian

                    You’re missing the point. It’s about conservative Catholic double-standards and hypocrisy, not about Davis or Gingrich per se.

                    • Art Deco

                      No, I am not missing your point. You are contending that Dr. Lu is manifesting a “double standard” when she is not undertaking a comparative assessment at all. You are being stupid or dishonest.

                    • Nestorian

                      Her whole attitude – and yours – manifests this double-standard. Your rush to defend Gingrich in your early posts proves it abundantly in your case. It bears out the accusations I made in my earliest posts that this is what is going on.

                    • Art Deco

                      In “Introduction to Reading Comprehension”, you will learn that the content of my remarks was to state precisely the sequence of events and situation with regard to N.L. Gingrich’s first marriage, nothing more, nothing less. It looks like a ‘rush to defend’ because you uttered a complex of falsehoods which I corrected.

                    • Art Deco

                      You’re awfully repetitive. Again, no non-idiot would regard a correction of falsehoods you uttered as a ‘rush to defend’ Gingrich.

                    • cestusdei

                      No, it’s about liberal double standards and hypocrisy. Unless you want to admit that liberals simply have no morals at all?

    • And I for one, kept answering those fawning over Gingrich with questioning the validity of divorce.

      I for one can’t trust a divorced person, they’ve already proved they can’t be trusted. Forgiveness is separate.

      • Nestorian

        Could you please direct me to these exchanges? I would be interested in seeing them.

        • I don’t have time to dig up 2 year old conversations, and the last time I dealt with Gingrich was when he was still a viable Republican candidate.

          • Adam__Baum

            “the last time I dealt with Gingrich”

            Why do I sense a bit of pretense or fantasy in that phrase?

            • I mean dealt with him as a subject on the blogs, just like you deal with me as a subject on the blogs.

              • Adam__Baum

                Running your yap about somebody who doesn’t know you exist doesn’t qualify as having “dealt” with somebody. It’s a lie.

      • Adam__Baum

        I know a lot of divorced people who had it imposed upon them. I have a cousin whose ditz wife lost her interest when it became obvious that his fastball wasn’t going to get him in the majors. He lives with his ailing mother and is her primary caregiver. I trust him, more than you.

        • Art Deco

          I know a lot of divorced people who had it imposed upon them

          The vast majority have a de facto and a de jure initiator. Divorces by mutual agreement are atypical (about 20% of the total according to one source I have seen).

          • Adam__Baum

            You know the old saw, Art. There’s her story, his story and the truth. In my cousin’s case, the divorce was preceded by a history of her weekend absences, supposedly to go to the beach with female “friends”. Surrre. Married people don’t ditch their spouse on the weekend.

            My cousin is a bit of a “dumb jock”, but her near immediate remarriage after the divorce tells me he was cuckolded, not untrustworthy. He never remarried.

            Dismissing every divorcee as untrustworthy is a stupid rule. especially since there are marriages that survive in spite of infidelity.

            Theodore is being a judgmental ass in issuing such an indictment.

      • flourgiggy

        Theodore, Everyone has a divorce story — mine involves a woman who after 20 years of marriage and four children (not to mention moving all over the world several times to further his career), had her husband indulge in an affair and move out, abandoning the family. The youngest child was just 3.

        The wife is one of the loveliest, intelligent, hard-working Christian women one could meet. Would you distrust her – the 100% innocent party – on top of all else the family has suffered?

        Surely, Theodore, you don’t know the truth behind every divorce situation, and should be more selective in your distrust.

      • Nestorian

        Oh, I love all these divorce sob stories…. Here’s some news for you all: Roman Catholic doctrine makes ANY remarriage by EITHER partner following the divorce a mortal sin, adultery, etc., etc. And if they have played the annulment shell game (“Now you see the marriage …. now you don’t!”), then they merely compound the sin of adultery with the sin of mendacity.

        • Adam__Baum

          You know nothing of annulments. Actually, you might very well be a “Know-Nothing”.

    • ForChristAlone

      Why not go elsewhere if you find the environment here so inhospitable?

      • Nestorian

        Sometimes it can be useful to shake things up. My points about the moral equivalency of Davis and Gingrich, and the hypocritical political opportunism inherent in ignoring this equivalency, have obviously ruffled some feathers around here. That is all to the good, and it was my purpose all along.

        • Art Deco

          Dr. Lu is writing about the Texas governor’s race. She is not ‘ignoring the equivalency’. She is writing about a subject you would rather she not write about. N.L. Gingrich’s personal history is irrelevant to Texas politics.

          There is no ‘hypocrisy.’ There is fraud here, but the fraud-meister in question is you.

        • Adam__Baum

          There’s a difference between being provocative and disruptive. You are the latter. You traffic in graffiti.

          • Nestorian

            And just who exactly made you the infallible arbiter of that distinction? Do you have some kind of direct mandate from heaven?

            • Adam__Baum

              I have two eyes and literacy. You work in aerosol.

    • cestusdei

      Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, John Edwards…need I go on?

    • Conniption Fitz

      Several of your points are erroneous.

      1. Newt’s first wife is alive and well. He married her looking for a stable ‘mommy’ because his own mother was seriously mentally ill, his stepfather was cruel and abusive and his birth father rejected him. He was a teenager running away from home.

      2. Newt’s second wife was also unfaithful/adulterous and married him for political reasons.

      3. Newt has come to Christ, repented and gotten help to mature emotionally and spiritually.

      4. I have known Newt since we were 15 – he’s always been a patriot and never, though he was sexually/emotionally immature and immoral, did he steal from the US taxpayer. He advised against the sub-prime mortgages/housing bubble. He helped keep the Clinton administration relatively sane…but could not stop Bush I from making major mistakes that harmed the economy.

      5. I would vote for Newt in a heartbeat but could not vote for Obama at gunpoint.

      • Conniption Fitz

        As typical with the left, Nestorian has trouble with the concepts of repentance and forgiveness of sins. Maybe even the concept of sin, or like some, calls good evil and evil good.
        Nestorian likely does not align with Scripture regarding sin, conviction of sin, Christ’s death as propitiation for sin, the requirement of repentance, the gifts of grace, mercy and the absolute certainty of justice and consequences of unrepented sin.

        • Nestorian

          Newt is engaged in ongoing adultery with Callista. He is NOT repentant. It’s obvious.

  • somnipod

    Anybody that loves unregulated baby killing to the extent of Wendy Davis has no place as Texas governor. I was at the statehouse and witnessed the (literally) evil proabortion protesters, worshiping at the altar of child sacrifice.
    Even more sad, are the number of Wendy Davis bumper stickers in the parish parking lots… especially during the Spanish mass. Its no wonder the democratic party of death wants amnesty.

    • flourgiggy

      The parish parking lot sounds like an excellent venue for a pro-life event (coffee & munchkins?) with calm, knowledgeable fellow parishioners informing the misguided what an abortion actually is.

      They likely also need to know about he permanent damage it does to the mother, as well as the child.

      • somnipod

        Totally agree. Don’t forget about the men too! I know this from personal experience

  • Vinnie

    Sounds like she regrets not having an abortion.
    Also, this is very true – “making sensible life choices seems to diminish a woman’s standing to express a view on what sorts of choices women ought to make.” Moral relativism at work.

  • Objectivetruth

    Great article, Rachel.

    “Feminists have long worked to control the conversation about abortion by restricting who is “qualified” to contribute. Men are not qualified, because they are unable to bear children themselves. ”

    On the contrary, as a man I am qualified to contribute to the conversation. I was once a developing baby in the warmth and security of my mother’s womb, and can speak to the fact that it’s far much better to have been born than to be shred limb by limb at the hand of an abortionist.

    • smokes

      The last thing feminist-communists can tolerate is objective truth. It ruins the whole destructive game for them.

  • Objectivetruth

    “The unborn, conveniently, are literally unable to speak for themselves. At the critical period in which their lives hang in the balance, their lungs are not yet developed enough to utter a sound. They can be effectively sidelined.”

    In a morbid way, it’s a shame that the mother, father, abortionist, and nurses can not hear the painful death cries and screams of the baby as it is being tortured and shredded apart in the womb. The sound of a screaming, suffering, dieing baby during an abortion could be the antidote to this barbaric, demonic procedure.

    • Adam__Baum

      That might be their customized experience, post mortem.

    • smokes

      Savages rather enjoy the whimpering of their dying victims. They get excited watching the blood flow or the 75 yr. old woman falling to a “knock out” punch. The savage beast lacks humanity, itself.

  • So, basically, because she was a single mother, other single mother’s children must die.

    Worst plot line ever.

  • smokes

    Wendy’s lies are too big to fit into Texas.

    • Objectivetruth

      Who knows if she’s even pro abortion. As Rachel states, Davis is an opportunist. Her pro abortion filibuster might have been the best opportunity to grab national attention and the democratic nomination for governor. Reading her history, she might just be a self absorbed narcissist that will dance with any political ideologue to advance her own career and agenda. One sees it all the time.

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  • Ruth Rocker

    To address Nestorian – Yes! Gingrich is an adulterer. Admittedly so because it is clearly evident. He made no attempt to hide this.

    The difference is that he never tried to modify his life the way Davis has done. I was pregnant in high school. In fact, I attended my graduation ceremony while 7 months pregnant. So Davis’ story does not impress me in the slightest. It is not difficult to have a child – it is difficult to abort one. I was “encouraged” to have an abortion even by my OB/GYN. I believed then and do now that just because I made a poor choice the baby shouldn’t have to pay the price. I did, however, during the course of the pregnancy consider putting the baby up for adoption. However, when he was born, I fell in love with him at first sight. He is now 38 years old and has made me the grandmother of 3 beautiful children.

    The point is that she lied. Repeatedly. Publicly. Just like Obama. Stood there in a public forum and lied through her teeth. She knew it was a lie when the words came out of her mouth. And is no more repentant for it than Obama is. This seems to be a continuing problem for politicians in general and the democrats in particular. Moral relativism is alive and well and consuming people faster than any other plague in the history of mankind.

    Either personal integrity is worth something or it isn’t. If she had gotten some dates or ages wrong that would be one thing. Everyone has trouble remembering things sometimes. But she deliberately lied about key parts of her “history” to make herself more pathetic (as in deserving of pathos) to her audience. Just because she gave birth does not make her a mama any more than being a sperm donor makes a man a daddy. They may be, respectively, mother and father, but neither had much to do with the hard work of raising and caring for the child or children.

    All public officials who want to make the rules should have to abide by them. That means the laws passed and the societal standards expected of and by most reasonable people. If they lie, if they cheat, if they embezzle, if they are not faithful in your marital vows, they should be called on the carpet for it, regardless of political affiliation. A modern philosopher said “With great power comes great responsibility” and these people SHOULD be held to a high standard.

    • Nestorian

      And you think Gingrich doesn’t lie? Romney doesn’t lie? Cheney doesn’t lie? GW Bush doesn’t lie? Rumsfeld doesn’t lie??? Please. They ALL lie, ALL the time.
      I am not saying that Democrats don’t lie – they lie all the time too. But it is about time that people on this website woke up to the longstanding fact that the ENTIRE political class in this country is corrupt beyond redemption.

      • cestusdei

        Did Clinton lie when he said, “I didn’t not have sex with that girl.” How about VP candidate John Edwards? Ted Kennedy, the serial adulterer? I could go on.

        • Nestorian

          To repeat what I said: Democrats lie all the time too.

      • Art Deco

        There is a certain amount of artifice in social life. I have no particular reason to think that Mr. Romney’s ‘lying’ extends any farther than that. I am not aware any part of his biography has been shown to be a fabrication. Since the Washington Post went so far as to run umpteen column inches on a solitary high school prank of his, I tend to think they found all the dirt there is.

        Pretty much the same deal with Messrs. Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld, bar that lying is sometimes necessary for reasons of state and I assume that they have concealed things to avoid various and sundry problems abroad.

        this website woke up to the longstanding fact that the ENTIRE political class in this country is corrupt beyond redemption.

        I take it this is your revised thesis. You could always do yourself a favor and emigrate.

        • Nestorian

          How can you call yourself a “lover of truth” yet still maintain that lying for “reasons of state” is morally permissible? This is yet another example of the galling hypocrisy of which there is so much to be found in Crisis-type circles.

          • Art Deco

            Because some people are in positions where disclosure of the wrong information can have bloody consequences, that’s why.

            • Nestorian

              The fact remains: If you love the truth (supposedly), yet countenance lying for “reasons of state,” you are a hypocrite.
              The very fact that lying might have bloody consequences demonstrates the fundamental moral illegitimacy of the situation in question. “Plausible deniability” is simply a euphemism for satanic artifices, since Satan is “the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning.”
              Hitler and Stalin used the same excuses to justify their political lies too.

              • Art Deco

                The Holy See and various and sundry Catholic institutions hid about 75% of Italy’s Jewish population during the 2d World War. No, they were not honest and forthright with the Wehrmacht about the whereabouts of these people.

                • Nestorian

                  And Bush lied about WMD in Iraq to justify a murderous war for oil hegemony. Lies and mass murder – it is all borne of Satan, who was a liar and murderer from the beginning.
                  Yet no one on Crisis seemed, or seems, to be able to bring themselves to condemn him or his minions (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc.).
                  And you call yourselves lovers of objective truth??? Hypocrites you are – hypocrites who whitewash bloody mass murders!!!
                  The recent denunciations of Obama for his lies on Obamacare (which I do not for a moment deny, and for which I think he should be impeached and criminally tried) are morally disgusting for their doublestandard re lying: When Bush uses lies to justify mass murder for oil, it’s OK – but when Obama lies on healthcare, it inexplicably is not.

                  • Art Deco

                    There is no evidence that the President lied about anything. Nor is he guilty of mass murder. The notion that the Iraq war was carried out for oil resources is characteristic of people who know nothing of national income accounts.

                    • Nestorian

                      If you really believe there is “no evidence,” then, as an obviously intelligent person, I can only conclude that you are willfully ignorant. The same goes for your denial that oil figured in the motives for war in Iraq – even Neuhaus, in an unguarded moment (responding to Andrew Bacevich in 2006), put himself on written record as asserting that oil obviously had something to do with it.
                      All of this also goes to demonstrate that you don’t really love the truth, and that your declarations and beliefs that you do are drenched in hypocrisy.

                    • Art Deco

                      Madam, Iraq is an interesting country because it had oil revenues to make mischief, which it was quite willing to do under the succession of fascist governments which ruled the country over the period running from 1958 to 2003. The impact of the price of Iraqi oil on American economic well-being was and is minimal. Fr. Neuhaus was not privy to any confidential information even if he did say that to Bacevich (and non ci credo).

                      This discussion started out with you offering an emotional response to the the article wherein you complained that Dr. Lu had not mentioned in her article five other individuals who have no connection to Wendy Davis or contemporary Texas politics and two of whom had not committed any obtrusive offenses against domestic life. It was an idiot non sequitur, but instead of retracting it you have hopscotched from one contention to another in an apparent effort to have the last word. Now we are talking about foreign policy decisions made a dozen years ago also irrelevant to contemporary Texas politics (and about which you appear to be no more knowledgeable than you are about Ronald Reagan’s marital history).

                      My suggestion is that you cool off and stop impugning my character. I do not give a rat’s ass what you have to say on that subject, but this discussion is not doing either of us any good.

                    • Nestorian

                      If you really know a lot about the Iraq war, as you claim, then you only implicate yourself even further in hypocrisy and hatred of the truth. One cannot be truly knowledgeable about it and deny its criminal nature without being willfully oblivious to the facts.
                      You have Google at your fingertips; do some research e.g. on “Scott Ritter,” or “Yellowcake uranium,” or “Rumsfeld Saddam shaking hands.” Evidence of lying, criminality, and murderousness by Bush and his cronies is overwhelming for those who care to do the research with an open mind.
                      As for Rachel Lu and my alleged non-sequiturs, you know very well that my deeper point is not about her. Her denunciation of Wendy Davis merely provides a convenient occasion to call attention to a blatant moral double-standard that is pervasive among Crisis readers and the like. My principal purpose has been to drive home this point, and I have done so with logical consistency. It is you who throw out red herrings by failing to grasp – or acknowledge – that this has been my larger purpose from the very beginning.
                      It seems that you yourself have been disturbed by my calling attention to this fact, which is all to the good. If you don’t like my responses to you, then just don’t reply – no one is holding a gun to your head to do so.

                    • Art Deco

                      Madam, you have made stupid arguments, offered calumnies against various and sundry, and impugned my character to boot. No reason to do any of this bar that you’re in a hole and cannot bear to stop digging.

                    • Nestorian

                      I hope you will think carefully about whether my accusations against you are warranted. That you defend Bush is as scandalous as that many German Christians supported and defended Hitler in the 1930s.

                    • Art Deco
      • Faustina11

        No one is beyond redemption! That doesn’t mean that we should keep electing the same people over and over. Unless, of course, the alternative is worse.

        • Nestorian

          Yes, but Gingrich clearly has not repented, but persists in his grave sin of adultery.

      • Ruth Rocker

        I did mention that the propensity to lie is apparently endemic in political life. There is an old joke that goes “How can you tell if a politician is lying? His lips are moving” hold true for the entire lot. That, however, does not expunge her of the fabrications she made. If I did that kind of embroidering on a job application and was found out about it after being hired, I’d be out on the street in a heartbeat.

        • Art Deco

          There are politicians and there are politicians. Some are in it to push their issues, some are in it because that’s how they prefer to make a living, some are power mad egomaniacs (Hillary), some are histrionic personalities (Mark Foley), some are in it to rake in the bucks (Harry Reid, net worth $6.7 million), and some are in it to screw girls (Gary Condit). Some will say anything and some are forthrightly honest. Some have severe personality problems (Sheila Jackson Lee) and some are perfectly decent in their mundane life (Morris Udall). Some are stupefying in their pretensions and some are quite regular.

          This Davis broad sounds way over on the right side of the bell-curve on the ‘user’ scale. Nestorian is attempting to excuse that by saying every politician has all the same vices.

    • Adam__Baum

      “He is now 38 years old and has made me the grandmother of 3 beautiful children.”

      People make mistakes, God does not, writing straight lines with crooked pencils every day. Congratulations on making the right choice under duress and having the guts to discuss it here.

    • leogirl87

      I am glad you decided to keep your baby. This is America and people rise above their situations. It’s great to keep families together, and even more great to choose life.

      I’d also like to comment for anyone reading this who is considering adoption, there are more options available now than there used to be. Open adoptions where you can visit and spend time with your kid while they will be raised in a loving home with married parents. It’s like an extended family. This might be the best option for unwed mothers who are still in school and cannot afford to raise their child without public assistance (the economy today is worse than it used to be, more and more people on unemployment and public assistance). But placing a baby for adoption is not easy. Just something to pray about.

      And I agree about public officials. They should not lie and they are not above the law.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Would you consider running for governor of Texas? If so, I would relocate there just to get the opportunity to vote for someone like you!

    • Conniption Fitz

      Several big differences between Newt and Wendy Davis.
      – Newt has always been pro-life
      – Newt has always been conservative.
      – Repentance

      • Nestorian

        Obviously, he has NOT repented, since he is still adulterously enmeshed with his third “wife,” Callista, with whom he began his ongoing adulterous dalliance while still formally married to his second “wife.” He shows no intention whatsoever of departing from this adulterous relationship and assuming a life of penitent chastity.

        • Art Deco

          Nestorian, Dr. Lu did not write an article about Newt Gingrich. Or about Linus Pauling. Or about Humphrey Bogart. Or about St. Symeon.

          If you would like to see a published piece about Dr. Gingrich, you can compose one and submit it yourself. (You might even attempt an assessment of his association with Callista Bisek taking into account that Jackie Battley is deceased at this time but was alive during the entire time he was legally appended to Marianne Ginther, and Marianne Ginther’s previous history of banging married men).

          • Nestorian

            Do you really believe this site would publish an article by me criticizing Gingrich? Come on, that is a totally disingenuous proposition, and you surely know it.
            And the fact that this is a total fantasy only underscores the double-standards and hypocrisy that prevail on this site. For if there were no double-standard, indeed they would publish such pieces.

            • Art Deco

              No clue what the editors would do, nor do I care. The main impediment to publishing it (and what would get you torn to pieces in the comment box) is the quality of your thinking. Dr. Lu places an article about a political candidate in Texas. Your complaint is that she did not write about some other politician on which you are fixated (who is irrelevant to the issue at hand).

              If I thought you made that argument in good faith, I would say you have a remarkable capacity for self-centeredness.

              • Nestorian

                My point is not ultimately about Gingrich or Davis, though it encompasses both. My point is to call attention to a pervasive double-standard and accompanying hypocrisy that I have been observing in Catholic circles for years. That is the principal point I understand myself to have been making from the beginning. You are a smart guy, so surely you know this.
                Your accusations of “non-sequitur” are sheer evasions. And if you think the matter of whether the editors would approve an article by me on Gingrich is irrelevant, go back and follow the logic of the argument; it has either escaped you or you are dismissing my point in bad faith.

                • Art Deco

                  Madam, there is no double standard. You would have to provide an example of Dr. Lu making a comparative assessment and this you did not do. She placed an article on a topic of interest to her. You fancy that people who write are obligated to gratuitously add asides which are an extension of your particular fixations. That’s just asinine.

                  Nor can you accuse the editors of Crisis of a ‘double-standard’ for failing to be interested in the same things you are. They have limited time and manpower and stories denouncing the domestic antics of retired politicians do not make the cut.

                  • Nestorian

                    Rachel Lu and you are hypocrites because you are not even-handed in your denunciations of politicians such as Gingrich, on the one hand, and of Davis, on the other. That was my central point from the very beginning, and nothing you have said has demonstrated this to be false.

                    • Nestorian

                      And if you don’t agree that this was my main point from the very beginning, go back and read my very first posts on this thread.

          • Nestorian

            Plus, you apparently agree with me that Gingrich has NOT repented, since you did not challenge the point.
            Doesn’t this matter?? Doesn’t it matter that so many people on Crisis, National Catholic Register, Franciscan University, etc., etc., are blind (willfully?) to this glaring fact?
            Yes, it does, it matters a great deal, and that is why I am calling Lu out on her own double-standard.

            • Art Deco

              Dr. Gingrich is an elderly quondam federal politician. Strange as it may seem, I get through the week without giving the man much thought. I cannot recall him ever advocating anything particularly flagitious. He is something of a huckster and has something of the skeezy car salesman about him and he a wretched person to whom to be married.

              He published a few op-ed pieces in the National Catholic Register that might have come from the pen of a score of other retired politicians and he and his wife gave a speech at Franciscan in Steubenville about three years ago. I do not think that Steubenville should have invited him, but I cannot see how that is of such world-shattering importance that you cannot comment on Texas politicians without allocating some column inches to Gingrich.

              • Nestorian

                My point is not ultimately about Gingrich or Davis, though it encompasses both. My point is to call attention to a pervasive double-standard and accompanying hypocrisy that I have been observing in Catholic circles for years. That is the principal point I understand myself to have been making from the beginning. You are a smart guy, so surely you know this. Your accusations of “non-sequitur” are sheer evasions.

                • Art Deco

                  You keep reiterating a point that does not make any sense, or would not make any sense to an ordinary adult with a sense of – er – boundaries. They are no more obligated to write about N.L. Gingrich’s second marriage then they are to write about Lauren Bacall’s second marriage.

            • Art Deco

              Yes, it does, it matters a great deal, and that is why I am calling Lu out on her own double-standard.

              This is just stupefying. Dr. Lu was not writing a comprehensive encylopaedic account of the transgressions of every politician who has held office in the last 20 years. She was writing about the Texas governor’s race. To anyone whose mind is in good working order, devoting space to the marital donnybrook of a retired pol from Georgia would have been weirdly out of place.

              Again, you want to write about Gingrich, do it yourself.

  • leogirl87

    The complaints of Wendy Davis for using her husband financially to pay her way through school are not sexist. I know a couple where the situation was reversed. The mother worked hard to put the father through law school. They were married for 20-25 years. Once the dad finished school, he got a good-paying job, had an affair with his secretary, moved in with her, and filed for divorce. Everyone is just as angry at him for using his wife to pay for school as they are at Wendy Davis for using her husband to pay for school. The four oldest children wanted nothing to do with him and the two youngest wanted to visit him but he wasn’t interested in his “old family.” Law school is very expensive and as soon as it was supposed to pay off with a high-paying career, these people bailed on their spouses and their families. Even with child/spousal support, these people still can’t live the lifestyle they should after investing in their spouse’s law career. Except Wendy Davis of course wanted her kids back because being a single mother makes her look better politically. Selfish, narcissistic users… may God have mercy on their souls!

  • Lying is always wrong no matter who does it and for whatever intention:

    2485
    By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of
    speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to
    others. The deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by
    saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and
    charity. The culpability is greater when the intention of deceiving
    entails the risk of deadly consequences for those who are led astray.

    2486
    Since it violates the virtue of truthfulness, a lie does real violence
    to another. It affects his ability to know, which is a condition of
    every judgment and decision. It contains the seed of discord and all
    consequent evils. Lying is destructive of society; it undermines trust
    among men and tears apart the fabric of social relationships.

    • Art Deco

      I am afraid malicious foreign governments are not ‘my neighbor’, nor are they the neighbor of the policy-makers who have to deal with them.

      • Irrelevant to the truth that lying is objectively wrong.

        • Art Deco

          Then you’d have turned over Jewish refugees to the Gestapo when asked.

  • Deacon Ed

    I’m surprised that Davis has made as much headway as she has here in Texas, considering that Texas is very conservative and pro-life! I don’t think she stands a chance of being elected. Good-ol’-Catholic boy, Mike Canon from Midland is challenging Kel Seliger for the state senate.

  • hoonu

    Thank you, Rachel, for a fine and well considered profile of another American Hero who has founded her career on the efforts and lives of others. Start with her allegiance to the god of abortion: as Mother Theresa asked, “If abortion is not wrong, what is?” After that, it’s no surprise that Wendy Davis would lie to Texans about her life story, abandon her family, financially abuse her husband and pontificate about “women’s rights.” A sad commentary on the state of our government and, unfortunately, the Democratic Party.

  • hombre111

    I agree with the criticism of Davis. But almost 18% of Texans do live below the poverty line. Reducing that number by half would stop a lot of abortions. So, let’s see a Republican step up to that challenge. He won’t.

    • Adam__Baum

      “Reducing that number by half would stop a lot of abortions.”

      Is there a left-wing canard you won’t swallow whole and attempt to regurgitate on us?

      The only poverty that figures in the calculation to abort is moral poverty.

      But everything can be fixed with (just a little bit more) money.

      • Objectivetruth

        “The only poverty that figures in the calculation to abort is moral poverty.”

        Amen…..amen…..amen……

      • hombre111

        When I was a campus minister, one of my colleagues was an expert on abortion. She told me numerous studies in Europe showed a definite co-relation between poverty and abortions. When government support for mothers went up, abortions went down. And vice versa. Probably the same re the U.S..

        • Adam__Baum

          Hearsay, relayed by a witness of dubious credibility.

          • hombre111

            Not worth a reply.

            • Adam__Baum

              But yet you did.

        • Art Deco

          There’s also a co-relation between short-time horizons and poverty.

          • hombre111

            Yep. Having lived in great poverty as a child, a short-time horizon was a key to sanity, because hope seemed futile. Read Victor Frankel. If we want the poor to stop having abortions, we need to give them hope. Somehow, it keeps coming down to the superabundant blessings of capitalism for some, and less for most. 85 people own as much as half of the population of the earth. Marx turned into a prophet.

            • Art Deco

              Please see Edward Banfield on this point: you’ve reversed the causality.

              If I thought you were not impervious to good ideas, I would suggest you not attempt to use personal biography as a source of authority. No one knows who you are on the internet and an irriducible segment of people who read your words here assume you’re an utter fraud.

        • Art Deco

          The number of abortions performed annually in this country increased about 15-fold between 1966 and 1983. It wasn’t because we were all getting poorer.

          • hombre111

            Apples and oranges. More relevant, the increase in abortions in New York and New Jersey after the great recession.

            • Art Deco

              I would not trust you to get the data right, but even if you did, you’re still confused. The effect you reference is cyclical income variation, not abiding deficits of resources. You are always going to have business cycles, no matter how affluent people are in general.

    • Objectivetruth

      Bovine droppings.

      We have to stop equating poverty with an excuse to kill one’s baby in the womb. There are enough social safety nets in this country that a baby can be brought to term and given life. Father’s of impoverished Irish immigrants, after their wives telling them their sixth child is on the way, would just smile and say”throw another potato in the pot!” Extremely impoverished European immigrants came to this country often with eight kids in tow, and a far worse economy and greater bigotry against them. The Left has created a mindset and attitude that for any reason, a baby must die. Poverty is not a sin, and many people have found having a baby raison d’être to be motivated to create a better life for themselves and their child. Christ was born in to poverty. Thank goodness Mary and Joseph didn’t decide they needed an X box and 50 inch flat screen and therefore, were too poor to bring Jesus in to the world.

      • hombre111

        Texas has one of the flimsiest safety nets in the country. Even my red state looks bountiful by comparison. Sorry, but sometimes a sin is a symptom as much as it is a sin. Yes, yes, Right to Life is anxious to bring a baby to term. But many are then unwilling to help a family put another potato in the pot. As I can remember my mother telling my alcoholic father on the birth of their sixth child, “I am not going to give birth to another child that will go hungry like the rest.”

        • Objectivetruth

          You’re postings are constantly and consistently against Catholic teachings and doctrines, one has to ask……

          Are you Catholic? Anonymity gives one the ability to fabricate and lie. I doubt your claims to priesthood.

        • Art Deco

          Be nice, Mr. Faux-Priest, if you ever offered an original observation.

        • ForChristAlone

          Was your mother was resentful of your father getting her pregnant and having to bear the full burden of you and the rest of your siblings because your father was alcoholic? You identify with the plight of your mother. I question a mother saying such a thing in front of her children. Did she ever stop and think how that might have made you feel? I guess you feel that no one stepped up to help your mother with having to deal with 6 kids and a drunk for a husband. Would it have helped if there was more of a safety net for your family?

          • hombre111

            When I was a kid, there was no safety net. Period. My mother was an extrovert who did not keep her thought to herself. At that time, I did not really appreciate her desperation. The Church helped, and showed herself a real mother. I will always be grateful, and that was probably a strong reason for my becoming a priest. By the way, our pastor told my mother she did not have to have children she could not feed. He recommended the rhythm method, which my father could not fathom. This meant that my mother and father stopped having sex. It drove an even deeper wedge between them.

            • ForChristAlone

              I am curious…did you ever feel unwanted and / or an added burden to your mother? Did you ever feel that it would have spared your mother additional grief if you were not born?

              Did you harbor ill will toward your father because of what he subjected your mother to?

              • hombre111

                My attitude toward birth control was formed in the confessional, when I gave the company line to people under huge pressure. I realized it was a matter of laying burdens on other people to carry, burdens that cost me nothing. I realized that my best advice was to ask them to be spiritual adults, pray together, lay the matter before God, and make a decision together. “Mother Church,” ie a bunch of celibate old men, loves treating adults like children.

                • Art Deco

                  You’re not very good at keeping up a believable pretense.

            • Art Deco

              Since you claim to have been born around about 1938, you would have been a ‘kid’ around about 1949 give or take a dozen years. Social Security, AFDC, public housing, public education, state asylums, state sanitoriums, foster care systems, municipal hospitals, and mass transit were all features of life at that time. General relief payments were still common. During the earlier years of that era, you also had large scale public employment programs.

              • hombre111

                None of this made a dime’s difference to my struggling family.

  • Chris

    Thank you for the “to the point article.”

  • No feminists can be found in family courts or patronizing insurance companies.

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